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Supreme Court of Georgia Rules Against Payday Lenders

Supreme Court of Georgia Rules Against Payday Lenders

On October 31, 2016, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued an opinion that is lengthy against payday loan providers in 2 instances consolidated on appeal. The 2 cases (Western Sky Financial, LLC v. State of Georgia, No. S16A1011 and State of Georgia v. Western Sky Financial, LLC, No. S16X1012) included state legislation of tribal affiliated, out-of-state payday lenders who offered loans to Georgia residents telephonically and on the internet. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Georgia considered a true quantity of issues including if the state could sue loan providers involved with interstate business underneath the state’s Payday Lending Act (OCGA §§ 16-17-1 through 16-17-10); whether agreements created in another state had been at the mercy of that law; and whether tribal sovereignty precluded the law’s enforcement.

The defendants’ very first argument against Georgia’s attempted legislation ended up being that the Payday Lending Act excluded loans made through interstate business. Western Sky Fin. LLC v. State of Georgia, —S.E.2d —, 2016 WL 6407256, at *2 (Ga. Oct. 31, 2016). Even though the Court consented that a subpart for the statute expressly claimed that “Payday financing involves loans that are relatively small will not encompass loans that include interstate commerce” (id. (quoting OCGA § 16-17-1(d)), it determined that this subpart had been simply a choosing of reality and never a limitation regarding the reach associated with the legislation. Id. It determined that if this subpart was a limitation, compared to the Payday Lending Act would “be virtually meaningless” because basically all loans include interstate commerce. Continue reading